|Saved Stories – 1. Russia
|New US Sanctions to Be Directed at Putin Personally, Piontkovsky Says
| Paul Goble
Staunton, November 19 The United States is now prepared to impose sanctions in the harshest possible form, Andrey Piontkovsky says, thus directly affecting not only the business and political entourage of Vladimir Putin but also — and in ways that change the nature of the game — the Kremlin leader himself.
On Youtube yesterday, the émigré Russian analyst says it is his impression that the August 2 sanctions law will be carried out in the harshest possible form and that what is the most revolutionary aspect of the law is that this will be the first case when the head of the Russian state will turn up on this list (youtube.com/watch?v=xvbRqX5fYG0&feature=youtu.be).
The inclusion of Putin on this list is significant, Piontkovsky says, because normally such sanctions are imposed only on absolutely hardened rogues and criminals like Milosevich, the Sudanese president, someone from Equatorial Guinea and so on. For Putin to be on this list and for the Americans to put him there is thus a breakthrough.
He adds that US President Donald Trump, although he has opposed this measure despite signing it, will not be able to interfere with the imposition of sanctions. This is a government law, and any effort to sabotage it will have the most serious consequences for the incumbent of the White House.
In other comments, Piontkovsky argues that the approximately one trillion US dollars in illegal earnings of Russians now stashed abroad must be returned to the first post-mafia government of Russia, something requiring more changes in Russia than just a move to a post-Putin one.
It is a mistake to over-personalize things in the Russian case, he suggests. Putin may leave office but the essence of this mafia system will not change as a result by that alone. But seizing the assets of Putin and other Russians held abroad via the new sanctions law will help promote the necessary changes in Russia and bring closer the day these assets can be returned.
|Belgrade’s Balancing Act Between East And West Tested By Ukraine
|Ukraine has long expressed unhappiness about the presence of Serbian volunteer fighters among the Russia-backed separatist forces it is battling in its eastern regions. Now, Kyiv’s ambassador to Serbia, Oleksandr Aleksandrovych, has seriously ratcheted up tensions
|Israel PM: Security Must Come First in Any Peace Plan
|Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has made clear to the U.S. that Israel’s security concerns must come first as the White House tries to restart a peace process with the Palestinians. His comments Sunday came after Israeli news reports claiming to detail the peace plan under development. At a weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said “we heard plenty of speculation this weekend” about President Donald Trump’s peace efforts. He then declined to comment, saying only that “my position on this plan will be determined according to Israel’s security and national interests.” Trump took office with hopes of forging what he calls the “ultimate deal” between Israelis and Palestinians. The last round of peace talks collapsed in 2014.
|Foreign Ministers Of Iran, Russia, Turkey Discuss Syria War Ahead Of Sochi Summit
|The Iranian, Russian, and Turkish foreign ministers have met in southern Turkey to discuss the years-long civil war in Syria ahead of a summit between the three countries’ presidents in Russia.
|Belgrade’s Balancing Act Between East And West Tested By Ukraine – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
|Turkish Capital Bans LGBT Cinema, Exhibitions
|The Turkish capital Ankara has banned the public showing of films and exhibitions related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, the governor’s office said on Sunday, citing risks to public safety. The move is likely to deepen concern among rights activists and Turkey’s Western allies about its record on civil liberties under President Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party. “Starting from Nov. 18, 2017, concerning our community’s public sensitivity, any events such as LGBT… cinema, theatre, panels, interviews, exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province to provide peace and security,” the governor’s office said in a statement. It said that such exhibitions could cause different groups in society to “publicly harbour hatred and hostility” toward each other and therefore pose a risk to public safety. Authorities in Ankara had already banned a German gay film festival on Wednesday, the day before it was due to start, citing public safety and terrorism risks. In addition, gay pride parades have been banned in Istanbul for the last two years running. Unlike in many Muslim countries, homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, but there is widespread hostility to it. Civil liberties in Turkey have become a particular concern for the West following the attempted military coup in July 2016. Since then, more than 50,000 people have been jailed pending trial on suspicion of links to the coup. Some 150,000 people have been sacked or suspended from their jobs. Human rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies fear Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to quash his opponents. Ankara says the measures are necessary, given the extent of the security threat it faces.
|Главы генштабов РФ, Турции и Ирана обсудят размещение наблюдателей в Идлибе – РИА Новости
|Turkey hosts Russian, Iranian FMs ahead of Sochi talks – Anadolu Agency
|Arab League Foreign Ministers To Discuss Iran ‘Violation’
|Arab foreign ministers are gathering in Cairo for an extraordinary meeting to discuss “violations” allegedly committed by Iran in the region.
|Turkey Hosts Iranian, Russian Foreign Ministers as Turkish NATO Dispute Festers
|Turkeys Foreign Minister Melvin Cavusolgu is hosting his Russian and Iranian counterparts at the Mediterranean Sea resort of Antalya to prepare the ground for Wednesdays summit in Russia to discuss Syria. Despite Ankara backing opposing sides to Tehran and Moscow in the Syrian civil war, they have been increasingly cooperating to resolve the conflict. The three countries armed forces are deployed in creating a de-escalation zone in the Syrian enclave of Idlib, one of last strongholds of rebels fighting the Damascus regime. Despite growing cooperation, the countries competing agendas are increasingly coming to the fore with the imminent defeat of Islamic State and rebel forces in the Syrian civil war. The meeting Sunday in Antalya is seeking to ease, if not resolve, those differences before the summit. The hastily arranged summit came out of disputes over Moscows plan to hold a Syrian conference. Reportedly Tehran is unhappy at Moscow hosting the event, while Ankara was enraged over an invitation being extended to the Syrian Kurdish militia the PYD. Ankara accuses the militia of being linked to a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. But shared opposition to Washingtons policy in the region is providing a powerful impetus to ongoing cooperation between the three countries. The ‘zeitgeist’ or spirit of times, forces the countries not to go into confrontation but cooperation, said international relations professor Huseyin Balci of Ankaras Middle East Technical University. The United States arming of PYD forces in their fight against the Islamic State continues to deeply strain relations with its NATO ally Turkey. PYD controversy U.S.-Turkish differences over the PYD, are increasingly dictating Turkish foreign policy. At the moment all of Ankaras priorities have been put in the Kurdish basket, notes political columnist Semih Idiz of Al Monitor website, and that seems to be the guiding motive, whether its relations with Russia and also its relations with Iran. Cavusoglu is expected to press his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during talks in Antalya to agree to allow Turkey to launch a military operation against the PYD forces in the Syrian Afrin enclave. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing party supporters Sunday, promised a military operation would be launched to liberate Afrin. In the past few days, Turkey has been reinforcing its forces in the Syrian enclave of Idlib that borders Afrin. But with Russian soldiers deployed in Afrin, Moscows agreement to any attack is seen as crucial by Ankara. Moscow is competing with Washington for influence over the Syrian Kurdish forces. Russia has its own contacts to Kurdish politicians in the region, observes Zaur Gasimov an Istanbul-based Russia-Turkey analyst for the Max Weber Foundation, but [Moscow] is very concerned on pro-American mood among most Kurdish politicians. Analysts suggest Russia may view the threat of Turkish military action as important leverage to persuade Syrian Kurds to realize Moscow, rather than Washington, is the most useful ally. NATO relations But Ankaras courting of Moscow and Tehran is raising questions among its NATO partners. Turkish NATO relations received another blow, Friday, when Turkey withdrew its forces participating in a military drill in retaliation for slights made to Erdogan and the founder of the Turkish State Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, by other soldiers participating in the exercise. The incident continues to reverberate in Turkey. Erdogan Sunday dismissed an apology by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg describing its as halfhearted. Reportedly Stoltenberg said those soldiers responsible for the slight had been dismissed. Anger against NATO is being whipped up in the Turkish media and has created a rare consensus in Turkeys deeply polarized world. Kemal Kilicdarolgu, leader of the main opposition CHP, joined in the condemnation of NATO. While Turkeys Culture Minister Numan Kurtulmus described the incident as an example anti-Islamic and anti-Turkey phobia. NATO and in particular the United States are viewed with deep suspicion among many Turks, and analysts point out such verbal attacks offer politicians an easy opportunity to score points with the electorate. With Turkey due to hold general and presidential elections by 2019, polls that are predicted to be close, the growing anti-Western nationalist rhetoric and policies are seen likely to continue. Foreign policy in Turkey under the ruling AKP Party, it really has become an extension of domestic policy, observes political columnist Idiz. In such a political climate the NATO controversy could have far reaching effects, Turkey currently has more than one serious problem with the U.S., the locomotive force of NATO, warned Murat Yetkin editor of Turkeys Hurriyet Daily News, these problems are causing a rift between the two countries, prompting both Americans and Turks to question the long-running alliance between their countries.
|Turkey, Russia and Iran hold talks in Antalya ahead of Syria summit – TRT World
|Europeans More Inclined to Identify Russians as European than Russians Are, New Poll Finds
| Paul Goble
Staunton, November 19 A new survey by Germanys Körber-Stiftung finds that while only 41 percent of Germans and 38 percent of polls do not consider Russia part of Europe, a slightly higher percentage of Russians 44 percent say that they do not consider their country part of Europe.
Moreover, the survey found that Germans and Poles are far more ready to say that a rapprochement of the West and Russia is important or very important 95 percent and 80 percent respectively than are Russians. Only 66 percent of Russians made similar declarations (koerber-stiftung.de/pressemeldungen-fotos-journalistenservice/russland-in-europa-kalter-krieg-in-den-koepfen-1187.htmland dw.com/ru/опрос-принадлежит-ли-россия-к-европе/a-41323799).
The Körber Foundation poll also identified some important value differences among the populations of these three countries. According to the survey, 86 percent of Germans, 83 percent of Russians, but only 56 percent of Poles said that showing hostility to foreigners was something now wrong.
The three also diverged about the role of the mass media and its relationship to the state. The poll found that 76 percent of the Russians said that the task of the media is to support the government and report its decisions to the population. Only 53 percent of the Poles, and 43 percent of the Germans shared that view.
|Turkey Hosts Iranian, Russian Foreign Ministers as Turkish NATO Dispute Festers – Voice of America
|Syrian Army Retakes Last IS Stronghold
|Syrian state media say government forces have retaken the last stronghold of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in the country.
|Внесены изменения в закон о валютном регулировании и валютном контроле и Кодекс об административных правонарушениях
| Владимир Путин подписал Федеральный закон «О внесении изменений в статьи 19 и 23 Федерального закона «О валютном регулировании и валютном контроле» и Кодекс Российской Федерации об административных правонарушениях».
Федеральный закон принят Государственной Думой 25 октября 2017 года и одобрен Советом Федерации 8 ноября 2017 года.
Справка Государственно-правового управления
Федеральным законом уполномоченным банкам предоставляется возможность отказывать клиентам в проведении валютных операций, если они противоречат требованиям валютного законодательства Российской Федерации, а также в случае непредставления документов, представления недостоверных документов либо представления документов, не соответствующих установленным требованиям.
При этом уточняется перечень информации, подлежащей представлению уполномоченным банкам резидентами при осуществлении внешнеторговой деятельности.
Федеральным законом также уточняются положения Кодекса Российской Федерации об административных правонарушениях, предусматривающие ответственность за осуществление незаконных валютных операций и нарушение требования о репатриации денежных средств, путем дифференциации штрафов, налагаемых на лиц, осуществляющих предпринимательскую деятельность без образования юридического лица, и должностных лиц.
Кроме того, вводится дополнительное наказание для должностных лиц, повторно нарушивших требования валютного законодательства Российской Федерации и актов органов валютного контроля, в виде дисквалификации на срок от шести месяцев до трех лет.
|Frustrated foreign leaders bypass Washington in search of blue-state allies
|Eager to work around the Trump White House, European officials are courting governors and big-city mayors.
|Vladimir Putin could secretly be one of the richest men in the world an investigative reporter who spent 4 years … – Business Insider
|Putin’s game plan to seize European territory by DISTRACTING world, ex KGB spy claims – Express.co.uk
|Russia aims to restrict foreign press – Independent Online
|Turkey, Russia to mull situation in Syria – Erdogan – AzerNews
|Another Thing Putin and Trump Share: Support for Makhaevism
| Paul Goble
Staunton, November 13 Makhaevism, a phenomenon Lenin denounced a century ago, is making a comeback not only in Russia but in the United States and for the same reason: those who view the educated as the key problem and most appropriate target for attack are less inclined to go after their class enemies, the wealthy, exactly what the latter want.
The way in which the draft tax bills in the US Congress target those whose work is based on educational achievement and who seek to improve themselves via higher education to the benefit of those who are in business or even more those who live on the basis of unearned income has attracted widespread comment in the US.
And the attacks by Donald Trump on expertise and education per se have enjoyed remarkable resonance among many working-class Americans, especially given that these attacks have been accompanied by the American presidents insistence than any talk about increasing income inequality is a form of impermissible class war.
Now the same thing is happening in Russia, where Vladimir Putin and his regime are encouraging attacks on intellectuals of various stripes, portraying them as a fifth column or worse, in order to distract attention and make illegitimate any criticism of the wealth Putin and his entourage have gained for themselves (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/11/13/74527-goppi).
In the American case, this phenomenon hasnt been given a name; but in the Russian one, some have suggested goppi or gopniki — although in both a far better and more descriptive term would be Makhaevism, the term of abuse its opponents a century ago gave to the attitude of working-class Russians that the intelligentsia was more culturally alien than the rich.
What was called Makhaevism then reflects the attitudes of many working-class people across the world today and also and especially importantly to the way wealthy leaders are exploiting this anger in ways that ultimately work against that interests of those who feel it than do many of the terms now applied to the various tectonic shifts taking place around the world.
On the one hand, hostility to educated cultural elites explains the voting and polling behavior of workers better than class interests. Thus, many working-class people in many places view such elites as alien and out of touch with their needs even while supporting those who have or have gained great wealth.
But on the other, one of the basic failings of Makhaevism, its lack of a solution to this problem except to call for a permanent general strike by the workers against the educated, points to an outcome that history has seen before: the rise of authoritarian populism which in the name of protecting the workers from the alien cultural elite ends by defending those in power.
The term comes from the denunciations by Lenin and then Stalin of the writings of Jan Waclaw Machajski (1866-1926), a Polish Marxist of anarcho-syndicalist tendencies. (For background, see Paul Avrich, What is Makhaevism? Soviet Studies, July 1965, available online at theanarchistlibrary.org/library/paul-avrich-what-is-makhaevism; Marshall Shatz, Jan Wavlaw Machajski (Pittsburgh, 1989), and Albert Parrys introduction to the collection of Machayskis writings collected and republished as Umstvennyy rabochy(New York, 1968).
Lenin first denounced Machajski and Makhaevism both because the Polish writers argument was fundamentally non-Marxist in that it viewed cultural and educational divides as deeper than economic ones and because it threatened Lenins Bolshevik Party which included far more intellectuals than workers.
In the early and mid-1920s, Stalin joined in that denunciation, viewing it as a useful tool in his campaign against his better educated opponents in the Bolshevik party by playing to the hostility of many workers and peasants against a class they often despised as those who wore glasses and deserved to be killed rather than listened to.
Later in the mid-1930s, after he had vanquished his more educated Old Bolshevik opponents and sought to promote support for the new Soviet intelligentsia, Stalin too joined in the denunciation of Makhaevism among the Soviet population as something antithetical to the interests of Marxism-Leninism.
Now, however, the term and the phenomenon it refers to not only have re-emerged but with the support of the leaders of two important countries to the detriment of the futures of the people in both.
|On the frontline of Europe’s forgotten war in Ukraine – The Guardian
|Trump in Meeting with Putin Gives Up on Syria, Invites Iran, Hezbollah to Stay – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com
|Boris Johnson met London professor linked to FBIs Russia investigation
| Fresh questions as photograph emerges of Joseph Mifsud and foreign secretary at Brexit dinner
Boris Johnson is facing questions about the governments links to key individuals named by the FBI in its Trump-Russia investigation, following the emergence of a photo of him with Joseph Mifsud, the London professor with high-level Kremlin contacts.
The foreign secretary is facing accusations of a potential security breach following the emergence of the photo of him with Mifsud, whose identity emerged as part of investigations into alleged links between Donald Trumps election campaign and Russia.
|Президент посетил Челябинский компрессорный завод
| В ходе рабочей поездки в Челябинскую область Владимир Путин посетил ООО «Челябинский компрессорный завод».
Глава государства ознакомился с процессом производства, осмотрел цеха листообработки и готовой продукции. Президент также общался с рабочими предприятия и ответил на ряд их вопросов.
Владимира Путина сопровождали полномочный представитель Президента в Уральском федеральном округе Игорь Холманских, Министр промышленности и торговли Денис Мантуров, губернатор Челябинской области Борис Дубровский и генеральный директор Челябинского компрессорного завода Альберт Ялалетдинов.
Стенограмма встречи с рабочими Челябинского компрессорного завода будет опубликована.